May 18, 2019

De-Oxygenating Octopodes?

Timothy Birdnow

Now they are saying octopodes may go blind from global warming!

This is become farce.

Read it at  Live Science:

So, we're making blind Octopodes (yes, that is the plural,). Maybe we need to set up octo-optomotrist shops in the deep for these critters? Get in on the ground, er, ocean floor, folks!

So, what was the methodology"

To find out whether these daily swings in oxygen affect the animals' vision, McCormick attached small electrodes to the eyes of each one of her test larvae, none of which measured longer than 0.15 inches (4 millimeters). These electrodes recorded the electrical activity in each larva's eyes as its retinas reacted to light —"kind of like an EKG [electrocardiogram], but for your eyes instead of your heart," McCormick said.

Each larva was then placed in a tank of water and made to look at a bright light while the water's oxygen level was steadily decreased. Levels fell from 100% air saturation, oxygen levels you'd expect to find at the surface of the ocean, down to about 20% saturation, which is lower than what they currently experience. After 30 minutes of this low-oxygen condition, the oxygen levels were increased back to 100%.

While each of the four species showed a slightly different tolerance, all four took a marked blow to vision when exposed to the low-oxygen environment. Overall, each larva's retinal activity dropped between 60% and 100% in low-oxygen conditions. Some species, particularly the market squid and the rock crab, proved so sensitive that they started losing their vision as soon as the researchers started decreasing the oxygen in the tank.

"By the time I reached the lowest oxygen levels, these animals were almost blinded," McCormick said.

However, McCormick said, rapid deoxygenation caused by climate change could make it harder for these species to adapt. According to a 2017 study in the journal Nature, total ocean oxygen levels have declined by 2% globally in the last 50 years and are projected to decline by up to an additional 7% by the year 2100. Climate change is a significant factor driving these losses, the Nature study found, especially in upper parts of the ocean, where the larvae McCromick studied tend to spend most of their lives.


This warming-induced deoxygenation — coupled with natural forces like wind and water circulation patterns that make near-surface oxygen levels inconsistent in the region — could result in more vulnerable creatures losing their vision when they need it most. At-risk animals could become less effective at hunting for food near the surface, and might miss subtle signs of predators in their midst, McCormick said. It’s a grim possibility — however, more research is needed to determine the amount of oxygen-related vision loss it really takes before these creatures make potentially harmful mistakes.

End excerpt.

First, the notion that the oceans are de-oxygenating is dubious. The number bandies about is 2 percent, but how do you measure that, when we cannot even get to much of the ocean? In point of fact what scientists have done is comparable to what they do when they measure planetary temperatures; they estimate them i.e. make them up.

We have no way of knowing how much oxygen is in the oceans. They have started with a theory and worked their way backwards, as opposed to finding evidence.

Second, it is counterintuitive. warm water means greater plankton growth, more sea weed, more oxygen-producing life forms. That means more food for fish, too, I might add. The idea that a warmer world will de-oxygenate the oceans is predicated on the theory that warm water will stratiate the ocean layers thus keeping the oxygen from mixing,and that ti will lead to ice melt, which desalinates the ocean and helps to de-oxygenate it.

If warming causes ocean deoxygenation, why didn't that happen during the Eocene Thermal Maximums of 55.8 and 53.7 million years ago?
No kidding; if you stick something into the eyes of an animal and then futz around with the light level and cut of f the oxygen it is going to have vision problems. This is obvious.

And of course they say it's all about Global Warming: Why didn't it happen during the Bolling Allrod warming in 12, 400 B.C.? The Antarctic inversion? For that matter, why didn't i9t happen when the Holocene began? The Holocene was and is a warmer period than the Pleistocene. We should have seen big dropoffs in ocean oxygen levels.What about the Roman Warming Period? The Medieval Warming Period?

As always, computer modeling trumps what is seen int he real world.

Also, it should be pointed out that the changes in oxygen are only one variable in the octopodes environment when they move from high ocean to the depths. There is also pressure, something his research didn't take into account. Did it ever occur to these researchers that low water pressure might distort their eye lenses?

Also, octopodes absorb oxygen when they swim - less through their skins. If you hold them in a tank and reduce oxygen,is it any surprise they are going to suffer? These are creatures that move between the depths and the higher regions by swimming, which means taking in more oxygen. This isn't a fair test.

In the end this is another attempt to flank the opposition. Much like "ocean acidification" which was all the rage a few years ago, deoxygenation is going to be pushed as long as it is useful to promote the global warming scare and then it will be quietly retired.

Global Warmists have claimed all manner of crazy things; it will cause impotence, the end of wine, the end of beer, bad breath, shrinking farm animals, etc. This is just the latest.

And as for the Octopodes? Well, ocean acidification didn't get them, that's for sure. These creatures have been around for over 300 million years (and their forebearers five hundred million) without any help from us. I doubt we have to worry about blind Octopudes dying from lack of oxygen.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 10:04 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 1005 words, total size 7 kb.

1 I'm sure PETA will have a hissy fit over this!

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at May 18, 2019 02:55 PM (rIYC+)

2 No doubt, Dana. I can see the television commercials now; a forlorn octopus apparently sucking for air on a rock (without mention that it is a sea creature and should be, uh, in the water.)  "If you give just ten dollars a day..."

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at May 19, 2019 08:23 AM (HsSz+)

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Posted by: Sheikh Lukman at May 21, 2019 01:19 AM (T4KM0)

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